Thursday, December 31, 2015

Having Words


In October, I had a show at Cafe 1923 in Hamtramck of some work that's kind of out of my usual illustration-y wheelhouse. Over the 2014 holidays, I cranked out a bunch of the text-based panels, all done somewhat spontaneously, sloppy-punk-zine style, something I could work on while I watched movies on Netflix. The text comes from miscellaneous thoughts, comments, brainfarts, and disembodied punchlines I'd jotted down in my notebooks over the months. I had no idea at first whether they were "art" or anything I wanted to display, but the reception to them has been really great! Here are some samples from the exhibit, several of which now have new homes with a few of my fans. (Note: Each square in the tiles is 1"x1", to give you a sense of scale.)
















Annual Year-End Art Clearance



Just some sketches and stuff to mark the year's end, although I'm finding that I did a lousy job of documenting some of the activities in which I took part this year. I need to work on that...

First, just a couple of sketches done at the DIA (where I began docent training this year). Savage beasts...


Next, some shots from the Monster Drawing Rally at MOCAD, where I finished four drawings in an hour. Only one was unsold when I left for the evening. (Thanks to Eric Iverson and Aubrie Glennon for the pics).







And here's the one good shot of anything I did at the draw-on-the-wall sketch event held at Hatch Art and sponsored by AIGA Detroit. (Many of the sketches were type-related, so...)


And finally, a quick scribble impression done at one of the many Nick Cave performances mounted around town all this year. It's actually pretty accurate.


I'd add images of the two pieces I have in the "Actual Size" show at the CAID, if I'd thought to photograph them before I submitted them. Oh well!

It was an art-filled year all around. Between a trip to Toronto, two to New York City, and so much happening around the area (Flint, Ann Arbor, Hamtramck, Detroit), I went to a dozens of exhibits, performances and lectures this year. Plus, besides studying to be a tour volunteer at the DIA, I'm back to organizing the art shows at Cafe 1923 for Hatch, and most importantly, I'm back in school at Wayne State working on a second bachelor's degree, this time in art history (and acing my classes so far, I might add...). I had a car in the Popps Packing Pinewood Derby, and I even managed to have a solo show of my own at the cafe (images to come). Whew!

The low point of the year, personally of course, but also artistically, was the loss of my father-in-law George Raptis. He was a well-known Greek Orthodox choral music composer and conductor, a mentor and inspiration to many musicians in his community, and a great guy. He's sorely missed.

Friday, November 27, 2015

RIP Stanley Rosenthal

One of my old college drawing and printmaking instructors from Wayne State University, Stanley Rosenthal, passed away last week. He was a warm, funny, generous guy as I recall, and I have fond memories of the classes I took with him. When I returned to school this fall, he was the first person I encountered, standing outside the WSU art building of course, and we talked briefly. My wife reminded me of this cartoon I drew several years ago, a true-life anecdote from he late '80s.


Monday, August 24, 2015

If Memory Serves

Recently on Facebook I asked folks to shout out some well-known paintings for me, so I could try to draw them from memory, just to see how close I could come. I got a lot of great suggestions, some world-famous, some locally-known Detroit Institute of Arts favorites.

Here's the first batch of drawings. Even where I was off-base, I'm glad to say I at least got some of the flavor of the pictures in there. (Ironically, the one I flopped so badly on that I didn't want to post it was Dali's "The Persistence of Memory"...) Links to the originals provided for comparison, and credit given to the DIA where appropriate, just to brag about my fave museum! More of these to come, I think...

"F-111" by James Rosenquist
(I borrowed the Tide from another of his works!)

"Watson and the Shark" by John Singleton Copley (DIA)

"Self Portrait" by Otto Dix (DIA)
(I've heard so many Spock comments about this painting that I think I might have Vulcaned him up too much...)

"The Nightmare" by Henry Fuseli (DIA)

"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso
(Several elements are there, anyway. I joked that this looks more like a Theater of Cruelty production of a grade school Nativity pageant)

Old Peasant Woman Praying  by Paula Modersohn-Becker (DIA)

"The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henri Rousseau
(I forgot how barren the scene was, and borrowed some foliage from other Rousseau paintings)

"The Death of Marat" by Jacques-Louis David
(Marat apparently has a claw-foot bathtub now...)

"The Raft of the Medusa" by Theodore Gericault

"The Nut Gatherers" by William Adolphe Bouguereau (DIA)
(The chemistry between the girls is still there, I think)


Friday, July 10, 2015

Dead heat


(Or: "The Physical Impossibility of Losing a Pinewood Derby in the Mind of Someone Yet To Race")

Tomorrow is the third Pinewood Derby car race and benefit auction at Popps Packing, the art laboratory and gallery space in Hamtramck, and this year I'm going full bad-boy with a vehicular tribute to the YBA-est of the YBAs, Damien Hirst!

Google Image search shows I'm not the first to come up with the pun "Damien Hearse" (a gag too perfectly appropriate to such a death-obsessed artist to pass up), but as far as I can tell I'm the only one silly enough to actually build the thing - certainly the only one to put a Big Daddy Roth-style shark behind the wheel. This marks the first time I've worked with Sculpey and casting resin, and my first plastic model mod, so I think it came out pretty well considering all the experimentation that happened.

The races and auction happen Saturday, July 11, from 4-11pm. See you there, race fans!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beside myself

Two recent selfies. I leave it to you to decide if I look like Bryan Cranston or Chuck Norris (as has been suggested...)

 


Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Art Mirrors Man"

That's a sort of translation of Art Spiegelman's name. What this dashed-off cartoon of mine is a reflection on, I'm not sure, but it's a true account (as I recall it...) of an incident from Spiegelman's visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit a couple years back. I was inspired to draw it and leave it at a comment table at the Art Gallery of Ontario after we saw Spiegelman's "Co-Mix" retrospective there.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Tea for two

I was really happy with how this cellphone shot of Sophia, relaxing after tea and sweets during a recent trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, turned out, so here it is.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hatchback 9


I designed the poster for this year's juried exhibit at Hatch Art, the Hamtramck arts collective. Show's in April, deadline for entries is March 3, 2015.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"There is grandeur in this view of life"


In celebration of Darwin Day, here are a few drawings done at recent visits to the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor.



Saturday, February 07, 2015

We Drain Snakes


Before the holidays, I made some stenciled art objects based on disembodied punchlines, brainfarts, and sentence fragments scribbled in my notebooks. They were a break from my usual drawing habits, and something I could do quickly while I watched movies on Netflix. I'm not even sure what they are or what I'll do with them, but I had fun making them. If you want to take a look at all 25 of them, they have their own site now. Click here if you'd like to take a look.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Judith Again...

Sorry if you've seen this before, old-timers, but I'm reposting my "Judith" silkscreened mini-comic so it'll be easier to scroll thru when I link to it on Facebook for the "5 Day Art Challenge" meme that's going around. It'll be nicer this time, easier to read, trust me.














For the uninitiated, here's what I said in '06 when I first posted this:

"I first created this mini-comic version of the story of the apocryphal/Biblical heroine Judith a few years ago using the Print Gocco screenprinter. I printed 150 copies or so and hand-stitched the binding.

Judith was a favorite subject of 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose Judiths, unlike those of her male contemporaries, actually looked capable of and predisposed to sawing a man's head off his shoulders. One of Artemisia's masterpieces is here in the Detroit Institute of Arts, a suspensful post-beheading Judith scene."